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Soft fruit

I have inherited a nicely built hen run which I want to convert into a fruit cage (3.5m x 5 m.) It hasn't had hens in it for three years. Is the soil likely to need extra feeding, and how can I test for fertility? I don't want to over feed as I am told (correct?) that soft fruit doesn't like the soil too rich. Thanks.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Probably be rich enough as it is even after three years.

  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,469

    I agree with Dave. Perhaps do a soil test to see what it's like. They are quiet cheap from garden centres. What fruit are you going to grow? Very exciting!

  • Thanks. I thought perhaps blackcurrants, raspberries (summer and autumn), redcurrents for jelly, and maybe a tame Blackberry? Are the cultivated ones ccontrollable please?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,934

    You grow them in the same way as summer fruiting raspberries, so you cut the old canes down and tie in the new ones each year, which keeps them more or less under control.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Never tried blueberries: I read another thread which seemed to warn that they are not self pollinating? Why pots please? Gooseberries aren't very popular in this house, but I'll give it a go!
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    When they all start to produce fruit (year 2) you'll need to provide extra potash, as this helps flower bud formation.  Apply about a shovelful per plant of wood (not coal) ash from your fireplace/bonfire/incinerator in early spring.  As this is alkaline and light, it';s best to cover it with leaf mould or compost which is acidic and heavier.   Ash from young shoots (such as twiggy prunings) is richest in potash.

  • Thanks Verdun: a use for ericaceous compost at last (I am not a heather/azalea/rhododendron person).

    And thanks Steve 309: a use for the wood ash.
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